Man jailed for 20 years for role in Melanie McCarthy-McNamara death

Wednesday 31 July 2013 22.19
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Keith Hall, 24, of Kilmartin Drive in Tallaght had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter
Keith Hall, 24, of Kilmartin Drive in Tallaght had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter
Melanie McCarthy-McNamara was shot as she sat in a car in February 2012
Melanie McCarthy-McNamara was shot as she sat in a car in February 2012

A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the killing of a 16-year-old girl.

Melanie McCarthy-McNamara was shot dead as she sat in a car in Tallaght on 8 February, 2012.

Keith Hall, 24, of Kilmartin Drive in Tallaght had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

The Central Criminal Court was told that two men were the intended target of the shooting.

Ms McCarthy-McNamara was in the passenger seat of a car with her boyfriend and another man at Brookview in Tallaght when she was shot in the head with a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun on 7 February, 2012.

She died in hospital at 1.15am the following morning.

The court heard that her boyfriend, Christopher Corcoran, and another man, Paul Byrne, were the intended targets.

It heard that Hall threw a rock at a house to lure them out to be shot.

Hall was arrested eight days after the murder in an apartment in Athy.

He admitted he knew there was to be a shooting, what his role was and how he helped dispose of the gun when the stolen jeep they used ran out of petrol in Citywest.

Detective Superintendent Brian Sutton, who led the investigation, said Hall drip-fed gardaí the truth before finally admitting what he had done.

Mr Justice Paul Carney said he learns a new feature of criminality every day - in that if a stone is thrown through your window it is probably to draw you into the line of fire.

Mr Justice Carney also said it was not the courts practice to hand out compliments, but said the garda investigation was spectacular.

The judge said the use of drink, drugs or a dysfunctional background provided little or no defence or mitigation and he refused to suspend any portion of the 20-year sentence.

The victim's family said afterwards they were delighted with the sentence.